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Another hurdle for commencing fracking - South African court declares fracking regulations unlawful
13 November 2017 Mining & Minerals

Another hurdle for commencing fracking - South African court declares fracking regulations unlawful

The plans of companies seeking to commence with deep drilling or hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in parts of the Karoo exceeding 120,000km² hit a stumbling block after the Eastern Cape High Court declared the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production (Fracking Regulations) invalid on 17 October 2017 in the case of John Douglas Stern N.O. and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources. The court held that the Minister of Mineral Resources (Minerals Minister) lacked the authority to promulgate the Fracking Regulations and that they were not published in a procedurally fair manner.

Best Lawyers 2018 South Africa honours CDH's lawyers and practices
9 November 2017

Best Lawyers 2018 South Africa honours CDH's lawyers and practices

Fifty-three of our Directors were acknowledged in the Best Lawyers 2018 South Africa results. The respected peer-review publication also honoured four of our experts as "Lawyer of the Year" in their respective fields and regions. Adding to these notable achievements, Best Lawyers named CDH Litigation Law Firm of the Year and Real Estate Law Firm of the Year.

I Decide = I Am Exhibition
8 November 2017 Pro Bono & Human Rights

I Decide = I Am Exhibition

“I isolated myself because people thought I was seeking attention. I was sent to Bara hospital more than five times. Every time I was discharged I experienced rejection from some of my family members including those I stayed with. People with the same diagnosis as me must not listen to the nasty things that people say because if they are not strong enough they might end up being suicidal.”

Without prejudice correspondence: Admissible or inadmissible?
8 November 2017 Dispute Resolution

Without prejudice correspondence: Admissible or inadmissible?

The recent judgment of Rogers J in the case of AD and another v MEC for Health and Social Development, Western Cape 2017 (5) SA 134 (WCC) has shed further light on the admissibility of without prejudice communications and the exceptions thereto. The general rule applied in the South African courts is that without prejudice communications are inadmissible and cannot be used by either party in evidence in trial proceedings. However, certain exceptions have developed.

Lower costs – that’s the best medicine
8 November 2017 Dispute Resolution

Lower costs – that’s the best medicine

Niekara Harriellal wants to be a medical doctor. So strong is her desire to achieve this goal that she was willing to fight the University of KwaZulu-Natal all the way to the Constitutional Court. Most people know how coveted a placement in a South African university medical programme is. Competition is tough. When Ms Harriellal’s 2015 application to the MBChB degree was rejected, she applied again in 2016 as a “mature student”, having registered in 2015 for the Bachelor of Medical Science (Anatomy) course. Again, she faced rejection.

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VAT on non-executive director remuneration: More questions than answers?
19 May 2017 Tax & Exchange Control

VAT on non-executive director remuneration: More questions than answers?

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has ruled in Binding General Ruling (BGR 41), issued on 10 February 2017, that non-executive directors (NEDs) should register and account for VAT on their directors’fees where the fees exceed the VAT registration threshold of R1 million in a 12-month period, as they are not considered to be common law employees but independent contractors. BGR 41 was made effective from 1 June 2017.

Convergence and New Media: The profitable business of hate speech
17 May 2017 Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Convergence and New Media: The profitable business of hate speech

While social media is a common method of communication, it is also for good reason, largely unregulated. The negative consequence however, is that sensitive, illegal or objectionable content is also posted on such platforms, which have also become unwitting vehicles with which to disseminate abuse and propaganda. The UK House of Commons Home Affairs Committee published a report in May 2017 entitled “Hate crime: abuse, hate and extremism online” which criticised social media giants YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for their failure to appropriately address hate speech. With the growing monetisation of social media through advertising revenue, there is also potential for both the platform and extremists to profit from the publication of hate speech online.

Arbitration in South Africa: Presumption of “one stop” arbitration (courts adopting a non-interventionist approach)
17 May 2017 Dispute Resolution

Arbitration in South Africa: Presumption of “one stop” arbitration (courts adopting a non-interventionist approach)

A robust arbitral regime is critical to a country’s economy, in particular its attractiveness for business and foreign investment. Integral to such a regime is the certainty and finality of the arbitral process, which in turn requires a non-interventionist approach from the local courts. Historically, South African courts tended to be fairly interventionist in their approach, in terms of reviewing and setting aside arbitral awards due to procedural irregularities. They also sometimes went further by going into the merits of a matter and ruling on mistakes of law made by arbitral tribunals.

Be wary of incorporating disciplinary codes and procedures into employment contracts
15 May 2017 Employment

Be wary of incorporating disciplinary codes and procedures into employment contracts

In the case of Steven Motale v The Citizen 1978 (Pty) Ltd and Others LC (J2819/16) [2017] ZALCJHB 22, the employee, a newspaper editor, was suspended after allegedly breaching the employer’s policy by publishing a potentially sensitive article as an exclusive story without receiving prior approval from the employer’s lawyers before publication. The employer alleged in the suspension letter that the employee failed to act in a trustworthy manner and failed to implement agreed procedures and that this conduct ultimately led to the breakdown of the employment relationship.

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Downfall by
2 February 2008 Dispute Resolution

Downfall by "Domicilium"

It is common practice to include a domicilium address where service of notices may be delivered.

Mother in law to the rescue?
2 February 2008 Dispute Resolution

Mother in law to the rescue?

Christos Costas had two substantial judgements granted against him. He decided to sell his holiday home in Cape Town.

A name is worth a thousand suits
1 February 2008 Dispute Resolution

A name is worth a thousand suits

The Supreme Court of Appeal recently handed down a decision confirming that a name can be protected against any unauthorised use or publication.

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Tax Law Amendment Act
16 May 2016 Tax & Exchange Control

Tax Law Amendment Act

The ministry of finance says that the 2015 Tax Law Amendment Act provisions relating to retirement will come into force on 1 March 2016, however the annuitization requirement for provident fund will be postponed to the 1 March 2018 but some tax experts are concerned that the delays will hit consumers in the long term. Ruaan van Eeden, director in the Tax and Exchange Control practice explains the implications of this latest development.

Johan Jacobs talks about the budget speech
16 May 2016 Trusts & Estates

Johan Jacobs talks about the budget speech

Johann Jacobs, national practice head and director in the Trust and Estates practice talks about the budget speech which was delivered by the finance minister from trusts tax perspective.

Employment tax incentives
10 March 2016 Tax & Exchange Control

Employment tax incentives

Nicole Paulsen, associate in the Tax and Exchange Control practice speaks about employment tax incentives and how it expires.